Out of control stress hormones is one of the top causes of stress weight gain and stubborn female fat loss but you don't have to meditate or do yoga for hours or walk around proclaiming serenity now like George Costanza 's father on Seinfeld to de-stress and balance your stress hormone response. The 5 quick and simple stress management exercises below work and best of all they benefit your fatloss workout results too.
This super relaxing ballet exercise lengthens the inner thighs, pelvic muscles, upper and lower back muscles as well as all the deep postural muscles that stabilize your spine all day. Stand with feet wider than hip width apart, toes pointing out and squat as low as you can. Place hands on inner thighs and push into right thigh as you twist upper body and head to the left. Hold for a few seconds then repeat on other side. Breathe deep as you twist and be sure to twist from the rib cage not the shoulders.
This is one of the easiest and most effective stress management exercises for releasing head, jaw, neck and shoulder tension fast. I teach this to all my female clients who struggle with chronic stress. Stand with feet hip width apart, weight distributed evenly and spine neutral. Press fingertips of right hand into left chest muscle as hard as you can handle and circle arm back 5 times then forward 5 times. Switch spots and repeat and keep switching spots and repeating until you work the entire pec muscle. Takes about 1 min. each side.
This foam roller move is so easy and excellent for releasing hip and low back tension which often moves up towards the shoulders and neck. It also improves thoracic mobility and breathing and takes just 1 minute. Lay on back with legs bent and foam roller next to you. Lift lower body and slide foam roller under iliac crest (the bony area between your glutes and low back) then bring one knee in to chest as you straighten opposite leg. Rotate lower body to extend bent leg to opposite side, breathing deep and keeping shoulders and head on floor at all times. Use deep abs to return to center and repeat on other side.
I generally use tabletops for fatloss or corset muscle workouts but they can also work as stress management exercises because they open up the hip flexors, chest, shoulders plus improve posture and breathing. Sit with legs bent and hands behind you. Use your entire posterior chain (back, butt, hamstrings) to lift into tabletop as you breathe and allow the entire front of the body to stretch. Lower and repeat with any of the variations below. Be sure to squeeze shoulder blades together to support the neck. If you're feeling like you really need to turn things around you can follow this up with a forearm stand!
This challenging flow yoga move seems like the most unlikely of stress management exercises but it literally changes your view and this alone can be enough to relieve stress. Kneel a few inches from wall and place forearms on the floor with hands interlaced to support the head.
Contract core, squeeze shoulder blades and press legs straight so your body is in a V shape. Take a deep breathe and slowly lift one leg towards the wall then the other. Use wall for support if you need it. Hold for a few seconds then slowly lower and repeat.